About the Author

Nick Kleer

Field Guide

Nick joined the Londolozi team from Thornybush Game Reserve, and immediately began revealing his photographic potential, especially in the passion with which he pursued knowledge. An almost fanatical approach to improving his photography has seen him gain a rapid understanding of all the ...

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22 Comments

on Wildebeest vs Crocodile vs Hippo: A Tug of War

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Marinda Drake
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Amazing! A once in a lifetime sighting. Great pics

Ian Hall
Member
Guest

The one thing is always to expect the unexpected.

I have seen elephant hunting leopard, but the leopard escaped.

Jo Lynne Jones
Member
Guest

Nick, Fantastic unfolding of the story. While I haven’t seen anything as spectacular as what you witnessed, we have seen an aggressive hippo.
We were rattling through the bush keeping up with wild dogs who were in pursuit of an impala along the Chobe River. When we reached a clearing we saw that the impala had leapt into the water to escape the dogs – only to be pursued by a hippo. The hippo actually chased the impala onto shore. The dogs then paced not attempting to follow the impala. It all happened in seconds – certainly not an hour. Again, I’d love to be at Londolozi every day for all the wonderful things you see.

Rich Laburn
Member
Guest

Amazing sighting Nick, it reminds me of a similar sighting at Shingi dam from a few years back, this time without a hippo. – http://blog.londolozi.com/2012/12/wildebeest-attacked-by-crocodile-and-survives/

Jill Grady
Member
Guest

Unbelievable! Do you have any idea why the hippo behaved that way Nick….did she have a calf nearby? Just incredible.

Travel Butlers
Member
Guest

A fantastic sighting, thank you for sharing it.

Karin Botha
Member
Guest

Astonishing!!! Absolutely stunning photos, as well!

Do you perhaps have an explanation for the hippo’s actions??

Brian C
Member
Guest

A friend who is from So. Africa regards Hippos as one of the most dangerous animals in the bush— right up there with Cape Buffalo, Crocs, etc. I can see why.

Sergey Gorshkov
Member
Guest

Nick, fantastic story, thank you for sharing!
I want to see it too!

Alex and Sandra
Member
Guest

Unbelievable story, perfectly captured, Nick!

Oh my god, what a moment of a lifetime!

Nooky da Silva
Member
Guest

i haven’t witnessed this myself but seen a few videos of hippos and elephants saving animals being held by crocodiles

Jos van Bommel - van Bommel Safari's
Member
Guest

Amazing footage. Have seen stunning sightings at Londolozi, but never something like this.

Richard Sheehan
Member
Guest

Super story, Nick. Can’t wait to get back to Londolozi. I’ve seen and photographed a croc take a gazelle, a hippo come over and take the gazelle from the croc, kill the gazelle – essentially tenderizing it for the croc – and then leave it for the croc to eat. Had a little girl in the next vehicle say “Mommy, I thought hippos were vegetarians.” My guess is that hippos are so territorial that any incursion into their territory elicits a potentially deadly response.

Martin Gowing
Member
Guest

I love the video ,with those Hyena’s just standing on the far bank watching whats going on

Meredith Gottschalk
Member
Guest

This is incredible, Nick. Your pictures and the video are fantastic.

I wish I could have been there!

Wendy Hawkins
Member
Guest

Well that was absolutely fantastic Nick, but what a sad turn around!!! I was hoping that the hippo would deposit the still alive Wildebeest to the bank & chase the hyenas away 🙁 A great sighting for a new Guide. Good luck for future exciting drives.

Michael O'Sullivan
Member
Guest

Very nice capture. Great stuff.

Hippos are now known to be at least partially omnivorous, and hyper aggressive. So it could have been either a territorial reaction or the hippo attempting to kill/eat the wilderbeest, such that after the long struggle, both croc and hippo were too exhausted to eat and needed to rest. Plausible anyway.

Michael O'Sullivan
Member
Guest

If you check out a lot of hippo “rescue” footage, you’ll notice a lot of tentative mouthing, usually from a slightly younger hippo. When you sorta step back a bit, the majority look like its trying to eat the “rescue” and not really sure how to go about it.

Michael Chait
Member
Guest

Amazing sighting, thanks for sharing.

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